Does your college student need Renter’s Insurance?

4 things to consider regarding Renter’s Insurance for college students:

 

Does your college student need renter’s insurance?  The short answer is “probably”.  If you have a Homeowner’s Insurance policy, it’s possible that it may extend to coverage to a student.  But there are situations where coverage does NOT extend.  It’s very important to understand how your policy works.  There are several variables to consider.

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  1.  If your child is renting an apartment, even a student housing apartment, and the lease states that they must have Renters Insurance, then they must have their own Renters Insurance Policy.  Your Homeowners Policy will not cover this situation.
  2.  Coverage can extend from your Homeowner’s Policy to a student who is still a permanent resident of you household – meaning that they have not moved out on their own, they are just away at school.  If they still come home in the summers, still rely on you as their primary source of income, still meet the definition of a “dependent”, then many homeowners policies will extend coverage for your personal property located in the dorm and for the personal liability of the child.  Ask your agent about your specific Home Insurance Policy.  Every insurance company handles this differently.
  3. Consider your child’s roommates and the building environment.  If the roommate is a few fries short of a happy meal and doesn’t feel that locking doors is important, you need to consider your options.
    1. You spent good money on that laptop/ipad/smartphone.  You paid for the books, the clothes, the musical instruments and the furnishings.  If it’s vandalized or stolen, you want to recover what you lost.  But do you want a claim on your homeowner’s insurance policy, just because the aforementioned lunatic roommate decided to throw a party?
    2. Renter’s insurance is a separate policy that typically costs between $80-$250 a year. (Cost varies by the amount of coverage you choose.  If you send your child to college with $200,000 worth of stuff that needs to be insured, the policy will cost you more!) It covers the specified amount of contents, plus the personal liability of your child.  It may be less expensive in the long run to pay for this policy rather than having a claim against your homeowner’s insurance that could result in a premium increase for you.
  4. Personal Liability coverage is included with both Homeowner’s and Renter’s insurance policies.  The amount of coverage typically varies from $100,000 to $1,000,000 and is at your discretion.  This liability coverage follows you wherever you go.  So if you child were to get in an altercation at a bar library near the school, and it results in your child being sued by the angry parent who thinks that their precious darling is a true victim, Personal Liability coverage comes to the rescue.  Even if the lawsuit is groundless and is ultimately dismissed, it can still rack up attorney’s fees and court costs.  Personal Liability coverage can cover these costs.  Again, it’s a claim against either your home insurance or your child’s renters insurance.  It may be in your best interest to make sure that there’s a Renters Policy for this situation!

Call us today to review your current home insurance policy – and to see if an additional renter’s insurance policy is a good idea for your college student.

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